Interview with Susan Wright- NCSF (draft for newsletter)

Standpoint on Prop 8/Gay Marriage:

NCSF has close ties and relationships with LGBT organizations and has always supported equal rights for everyone,” says Susan Wright, spokesperson for NCSF. “We support gay marriage not only on behalf of our own LGBT members in our communities, but also because marriage is a fundamental right that shouldn’t be denied to anyone. These protests are an important way to show the world that we stand up for those rights.” READ PRESS RELEASE

Our method, while not able to throw resources behind it is to stay visible supporting it-  amping up our media releases and informational mailings, especially due to popular demand from our CPs [Coalition Partners] who are asking us to keep them abreast of relevant information to them and our lifestyle but tangential to the specific mission of the NCSF.

-Personally, yes Prop 8 affects me as a bisexual, I feel a personal connection to the issue of gay marriage.  I think that as a bisexual woman if I wanted to marry a woman and I couldnt marry a woman but I could marry if to a man, the hypocrisy alone would be enraging. The gender  does not matters, the love, relationship and the commitment that goes into a marriage are what matter.

So far there has been no consensus in the swing or poly community about marriage.  The NCSF is open to discussions, and with all policy the CPs have the ability to guide the policies, projects and direction of the NCSF…Mandates from coalition partners, or strong requests from our membership base or from the Poly/Swing communities would definitely prompt us to come up with a plan, and then bring it to a vote in the annual meeting. Many of us feel the discussion as to whether marriage is solely between two people is definitely coming on the horizon.  If you feel the NCSF needs to move in this direction, we welcome the input and your getting involved. You demand it and then we will act on it.

Everyone is encouraged to get involved in protests.  Board memebers, volunteers and CPs participated in the Prop 8 protests, as activists and organizers.

NCSF is the only national organization that is committed to rights of consenting adults in the BDSM, swing, poly.  Because we are the only organization that limits its scope to these communities , we focus our limited resources only on projects that specifically affect BDSM Swing and Poly…If we had millions of dollars in the budget we could focus more on other sexual freedom issues.  It is a Volunteer organization, if CPs want to change the scope we will-we will have to, and we will put out a call to get volunteers for man power and more donations for funding and move forward.  Resources and volunteers are needed for any undertaking.

Susan’s ideal project:  Educating  Law enofrcement and District Attorneys. We have some people currently doing this training now, but I want diversity in the training and more organized, perhaps more intensive.  Eventually I would also like to expand more into training  medical professionals,  and addressing the current discrimination by doctors.  The NCSF is now focused on addressing the misconceptions of Psychiatrists and Psychology with the DSM Revision project, but we hope to expand to other projects and broaden to medicine as a whole.  I would also like to expand our programmes on the web, including more presentations and workshops, and add accessibility to information to spread the word and encourage activists.   We now have DSM workshops online, and a general NCSF workshop online, along with some video conference hosted with Black Zeus for BDSM community.  Ideally we could expand to reach more people,  including workshops that serve the community and other alternative groups, taking the lead from new and cutting edge online webinar technologies.  Currently our Education Outreach Project, worked from our charity foundation the  ITCR, has 10 workshops that are activist oriented or protection oriented, and the next phase will train them to give presentations to law enforcement or lawyers, when we have the resources.  If we had more money we could train more people, recruit more, reach out to more- and this is KEY!

Memberships and CPs go to benefit our C4, the membership organization.  People wanting to make tax exempt donations to fund the work of the ITCR, our c3 shoudl make donations with “C3” or ITCR in the subject line.

The major projects of the NCSF are: media outreach, community outreach, Educational- DSM project, educating psychiatrists and doctors and lawyers, activist oriented, training, how to speak to the media, incident response, legal outreach project .  We used to lobby a lot more, now its more on the local and regional levels when incident response requires it,  and to intervene with DAs and new decency laws.

If we had more money we could more aggressively target with our current anti discrimination projects, and lobby to include our issues among the sexual discrimination laws.
Currently our project CONSENT COUNTS is working to change assault laws, by gathering information to show a clear difference between consensual and not acceptable behaviours, such as abuse/assault- a distinction that the law in most places does not acknowledge.  This is a template for us to address the current laws, and later to negotiate and lobby therein.  Permanent impairment or damage is our working definition of abuse reached by consensus within the community- of course this is subject to evolution as the Consent Counts information continues to be gathered over the next few years.  Additionally, we will use anecdotal evidence that people are being affected by this, are involved and askign for a change, citizens in numbers that we will be able to quantify through these forums.  Our aim is to begin by activating the community and give them an introduction to thinking this way, and on how to get involved.  Getting people geared up for the future battle to change the laws, first to decriminalize, and then to legalize.  Together we can unitedly get these laws redressed.  You can get involved now by letter writing, signing petitions, participating and organizing protests, doing anything to gain visbility to our cause.  We need to unite first and be visible second, and lobby third.

The Petition SIGN ME!!!!!!!!!!!! So far at this early date we have 1587 signatures.   SWEDEN removed Paraphilias from their DSM- our  goal is to get 5000 signatures, an attainable goal. The petition was started to reach out, inform people about the cause and the need, and to start engaging medical and mental health professionals, to support our white paper and confirm that it was solid and supportable.  After that we then introduced it to the BDSM community.  Next we will promote it within the gender  equality and and sexual minority comunities and other communities affected by the info that we have proven to not be scientifically supported.  White paper is listed above the petition on the petition site. Currently the wording of the DSM makes no difference between the paraphilias of disorder and of healthy sexual practice, and is in direct contrast and opposed by the findings of peer reviewed journals.

why should someone become a member?

If you need us, you need us bad for example sometimes our incident response deals with people in desperate situations because their kids are being taken away from them by the police or through a divorce; or even losing their job, gaining bad press for themselves or their business.  These are life threatening problems, where every second counts.  With a strong membership base and a community served we create a precedence, so others cant be discriminated against.  Each $25 individual membership goes to that. Money goes to pay for the incident response cell phone, the travel necessary for the incident response, documentation and materials to send out to members, CPs, victims, law makers, law enforcers, medical professionals and educators.  We do get you in touch with professionals: KAP, maintain the list of Kink Aware Professionals and recruit new people for that list.  We also give advice about how to handle the lawyers and the doctors and help them to handle these situations based on prior experience such as educating them about the facts and fiction of BDSM swing and poly.  We collect, provide and keep availble th research to support these claims.  Kink friendly doesnt  always mean kink experienced, and we can help you and them learn how to talk to the media, contact the media, and to find the sympathetic angle–which in this day of instant communication can truly be your best asset.   We also do a lot of hand holding, we are there to support them and you- you cant put a value on support, practical or no.

~ by Klawdya Rothschild on November 27, 2008.

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